Universal human rights as a shared political identity impossible? Necessary? Sufficient?

Metaphilosophy 40 (1):77-91 (2009)
Abstract: Would a global commitment to international human rights norms provide enough of a sense of community to sustain a legitimate and sufficiently democratic global order? Sceptics worry that human rights cannot help maintain the mutual trust among citizens required for a legitimate political order, since such rights are now too broadly shared. Thus prominent contributors to democratic theory insist that the members of the citizenry must share some features unique to them, to the exclusion of others—be it a European identity ( Habermas and Derrida 2003 ) or a national public culture generally shared only by the members ( Miller 1995, 2000 ). This essay considers and rejects these arguments. While stable, democratic redistributive arrangements do require trust and institutionalised means of trustworthiness; they need not rely on norms or values that distinguish members from non-members: such exclusion is not required. Thus human rights may be part of a common political identity.
Keywords Jürgen Habermas  trust  political identity  exclusion  democracy  human rights  David Miller
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9973.2009.01567.x
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References found in this work BETA
Thomas Scanlon (1998). What We Owe to Each Other. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
John Rawls (1999). The Law of Peoples. Harvard University Press.
John Rawls (2009/2005). A Theory of Justice. In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Philosophy and Rhetoric. Oxford University Press 133-135.
David Miller (2001). On Nationality. Mind 110 (438):512-516.

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